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Kublai Khan
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    (1215-February 18, 1294)
    Khan of the Mongol Empire (1279-1294)
    First Emperor of the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1294)
    Grandfather is Ghengis Khan
    Defeated the Song Dynasty of the Chinese Empire (1279)
    Moved the capital to Beijing (1271)
    According to legend, made Marco Polo and his family special advisors
    His relatives conquered China and he inherited it.
    He fought frequently with his ambitious blood relatives.
    He trusted foreigners like Marco Polo more than he did his own people as he was seen as a foreign ruler of China.
    He disliked the Taoists and persecuted them frequently.
    He is known best for creating one of the worlds first paper money systems - but this system caused severe inflation.
    His attempts to conquer Japan, Myranmar and Vietnam were failures.
    He was often torn between the nomadic ways of the Mongolian people and his desire to lay the foundation for a great empire.
    He suffered from depression in the later years of his life.
    Most of what the Europeans knew about him came from Marco Polo, who may have been exaggerating.
    He died an obese drunkard.
    He challenged the Mongolian stereotype by being aware of the plights of his people and using his wealth to make the country better.
    He repaired the Grand Canal and many public buildings.
    He created an extensive road system in China that allowed for increased trade with Russia and European nations.
    He was the subject of Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem (1816).
    He ruled from a lavish palace called Xanadu, a term borrowed to describe Charles Foster Kane's mansion in 'Citizen Kane.'
    He allowed Marco Polo to stay at his place for 17 years.
    He surrounded himself with a variety of religious advisors and was said to be religiously tolerant.
    Unlike his grandfather, he is remembered as a great domestic ruler and administrator of China.
    The name of his grand palace, Xanadu, inspired a horrendous movie musical featuring a roller-skating Olivia Newton-John.

Credit: Captain Howdy

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